The NBA season is back and keeping on the injury reports is going to be pivotal. For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines can change throughout the day. We will keep you up to the minute on the DK Live app.
Here are some players to target for tonight’s main nine-game NBA slate on DraftKings:
StudKyrie Irving, BKN vs. NYK, $9,000 — Kyrie Irving’s debut with the Nets was about an impressive as possible from an individual standpoint. He scored 50 real-life points and 76 DKFP. Kyrie looked like he had a renewed energy getting a fresh start in Brooklyn. One of the biggest factors in projecting continued fantasy success for Irving is that he had a massive role in the offense and the ball was almost always in his hands. He had a 40.5% usage rating and draws what figures to be an easy matchup against the Knicks. They were ranked 25th in defensive efficiency last season.
ValueFred VanVleet, TOR at BOS, $5,700 — This is much too of a cheap a price for VanVleet based on what we saw from him in the first game of the season. Playing on opening night, VanVleet had a well-rounded stat line and scored a career-best 34 points. The game went to overtime, which somewhat inflated his counting stats, although it’s notable that he played 39 minutes in regulation. Toronto is going to be extremely reliant on VanVleet with Kawhi Leonard no longer on the team.
StudLuka Doncic, DAL at NOR, $9,200 — We should expect Doncic to progress from his rookie to sophomore season, and he looked great with 52.75 DKFP in the first game of the season for the Mavs. In his second game, he gets what could be one of the best matchups possible for DFS this season. The Pelicans played at a torrid pace on opening night and gave up 130 points in an overtime loss.
ValueBogdan Bogdanovic, SAC vs. POR, $4,600 — Bogdanovic played just 22 minutes in the first game of the season, but there is a good reason to think he will see an increased role tonight. The Kings are dealing with a couple of key injuries. Marvin Bagley III is out for an extended period with a fractured thumb and Buddy Hield is questionable to play with an ankle injury. If Hield is out, Bogdanovic will most likely be moved into the starting lineup and he becomes one of the best value plays on the slate. Even if Hield plays, the Kings will likely have to play more small-ball lineups without Bagley, which figures to result in a few more minutes for Bogdanovic.
StudLeBron James, LAL vs. UTA, $9,500 — Per dollar, LeBron isn’t a great play tonight. He makes this article by default since he’s the only high-priced small forward on the slate. If I am looking for optimism and reason to roster LeBron, his price tag is extremely cheap. He’s only $9,500 and James was never priced under $10k in any game last season. There’s a chance he could look to take over the game and take on more usage following the Lakers’ disappointing loss to the Clippers.
ValueIsaac Bonga, WAS at OKC, $3,400 — Small forward is a really difficult position to fill tonight, so it may make sense to go really cheap and punt. If that’s the roster build you go with, Bonga is a sensible option. He started the first game of the season and delivered a solid 19.75 DKFP performance. Another benefit to rostering Bonga, not only did he start, he played at the end of the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. The Wizards figure to get blown out a lot this season and Bonga could be a guy who racks up fantasy points in garbage time. The Wizards are 8.5-point underdogs tonight.
StudJulius Randle, NYK at BKN, $8,100 — Randle had to share usage with Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis last season with the Pelicans. The Knicks don’t have any players near that caliber, leaving Randle to take control of the offense by himself. He picked up a double-double and scored 55.25 DKFP against the Spurs. He draws a great matchup against the Nets, who have notoriously struggled defending big men the last few seasons.
ValueRichaun Holmes, SAC vs. POR, $3,400 — Earlier I mentioned that Bagley is going to miss time because of a fractured thumb. Holmes figures to pick up a bulk of his frontcourt minutes. The Kings added Holmes in free agency and he’s historically been a good fantasy producer whenever on the court. We saw him deliver a handful of big games at cheap prices in the past and last season, Holmes scored 1.1 DKFP per minute. At that level of production, we only need him to play 16 minutes to hit 5x value.
StudNikola Jokic, DEN vs. PHO, $9,300 — Foul trouble limited Jokic’s production on Wednesday. He picked up three fouls in the first quarter, which led him to playing just 24 minutes. Despite the light amount of playing time, he Jokic still scored 40.25 DKFP in a fairly tough matchup against the Blazers. With Ayton (suspension) out, there is nobody to get Jokic into foul trouble and he should carve up the Phoenix defense. Last season, the Suns allowed the third-most DKFP to centers.
ValueAron Baynes, PHO at DEN, $3,200 — It was reported last night that Deandre Ayton has been suspended for 25 games due to a failed drug test. He’s appealing the suspension, so it’s unclear if he will be available for tonight’s game. If he’s out, look for Baynes to play the bulk of the center minutes for the Suns to match up against Jokic. As a starter, Baynes would be difficult to ignore at such a cheap salary. If Ayton plays then we can leave Baynes out of our lineups.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.